I wonder what the students think about me?
I intend to embark on a journey of professional self-reflection and I thought I would start with what my students really think!
I have dabbled in student feedback forms over the years. I have asked senior classes their opinions about the ancient history program, I have asked about my approach to teaching and I have asked about what they think about using technology in the ancient history classroom (a future blog post topic). It occurred to me today that I have never formally asked any of my middle school classes any of these questions. We talk about these things in class, but that does not give every student the opportunity to provide feedback. Usually, it's the confident ones that give their opinions - considered or not!
I have been doing some reading about the topic and the various approaches and I agree with all the findings and all the research. I came across the ACER Student Teaching Perception Questionnaire . The comprehensive report that they provide after the questionnaire is exactly the material I am looking for. I want to know what kids in all of my classes - yr 9 to 12 - think about various aspects of my teaching. Am I consistent across all year levels in classroom management? Do I use enough variety in questioning techniques across all year levels? How well (or not) do the students think that I create a positive classroom environment?
While doing my research, I found a surprising infographic on the ACER Teacher Magazine website. It measured the students responses to 5 teacher behaviours that prevent student learning. Two of the surprising results came from teachers being under-prepared for class and teachers being too strict with students. Australia ranked second highest in the former (!) and third lowest in the later. I wonder how my students will rank me on the same types of behaviors!
If I have sparked your interest in doing something similar, below is a list of links to some of my readings.
- Encouraging the student voice in learning
- case study: Teach the Teacher
- simple classroom feedback activities
- Improving practice through student feedback (this is the feedback model I am using)
- why student feedback is important
- The Power of Feedback: The Review of Educational Research (journal article)